Something struck me as extremely unfair tonight. And yes, I know that life's unfair, every infertile knows that if she didn't before. But this is one piece of unfairness that people inflict on each other rather than unfairness that isn't under anyone's control. And that makes me angry.
Why is it that people hold infertiles up to a much higher standard than they do anyone else? Once people get to be my age and have been married for a while (so I'm not talking about teen moms here), if they start trying and are able to conceive quickly, most people don't say to them or their spouses, "you know, maybe you're not ready to be a parent." Even when they get angry or upset or have a hard time dealing with things, their ability to parent isn't called into question unless they do something really egregious. But if someone with infertility is upset or angry or anxious about their infertility, they're told, "you know, you have to be able to handle things better than that if you want to be a parent," or, "maybe you're not actually ready to be a parent."
I know quite a few other people with ADHD, some parents and some not. The parents I know with ADHD weren't told (and their spouses weren't told) that maybe they shouldn't be a parent or maybe they weren't ready to parent because they had trouble staying organized. I know plenty of people who don't handle stress well or that handle stress but have a lot of it that are parents and were not told they weren't ready. But the infertile person is told that they stress out too much and that they'll never conceive until they just relax. Overweight people that become pregnant aren't told that they're not ready to have kids because they're too heavy unless they're obese enough that pregnancy and birth are likely to cause severe complications. But the infertile woman with a little extra weight on her is told that her weight is probably the problem. (For the record, yes, I know that I have more than "a little extra weight." But I'm not just talking about myself here.)
To those that want to hold me and other infertiles to such a high standard, please put yourself in our shoes and ask whether you would need to do the same to be a good parent or to be "ready" to be a parent. To the others of you out there, thank you for listening to me rant and not throwing rotten tomatoes.